Audio-commentary Part 1: Matthew Rhys, Rob Lowe and Monica Owusu-Breen.
Rob Lowe introduces himself and Monica and...
Rob: … and the brilliant and talented Matthew Rhys… who plays.. which part do you play?
Matthew: I play Sally Field.
About the messy start of the episode
Monica: It took us a while to find this beginning….
Matthew: I know. It’s so out of focus..
Rob: Yes, it’s hard to play the guy whose face they don’t see in the beginning
Matthew: Wonderful torso acting from you, Mr Lowe.
Rob: Thank you, I’ve trained it very well.
They point out that the scene in the kitchen between Robert and Kitty is all shot in one shot, there are not cuts and both Matthew and Rob say they like to work this way, because you see both actors’ faces and you see real interaction between actors. There’s no editing.
Matthew about Sally catching the bread that Kevin throws at Justin.
Matthew: “Look at that catch. That’s 42 years in the business. You can’t teach that. That’s experience.”
Monica: It takes a while for a marriage to disintegrate.
Matthew: Yeah, at least three episodes.
Matthew: Ryan-Laugh-at-me….(Monica laughs) (Matthew innocently) Isn’t that his name?
(Just love that, I can handle Ryan so much better now..)
Rob: (about Callista showing her legs in the bedroom) Okay, seriously, how cute does my girl look here?
Matthew: Rob Lowe is a champion at how to wear a shirt.
Rob: I tuck it into my underwear.
Matthew: Ah… You’ve revealed…. Now I need to start wearing underwear.
Gushing moment where Rob and Matthew claim to love these scenes of them working together, their dialogue being so back and forth and dynamic. And Rob says that whoever’s idea it was to put them together, it was a good one. (and he doesn’t even laugh when he says it.) To which Matthew asks who came up with the idea and Monica wisely replies:
“I don’t track ideas anymore…” Which is good answer, I can imagine she doesn’t want one of her co-workers to get lynched!
About Ken Olin
Rob: He’s very important to our show.
Matthew: (joking) In what way?
Rob: I don’t know. I just wanted to say that because I like him.
And I love what Rob had to say about Sally and Ron Rifkin:
Ro": “Also, with their experience, they’ve forgotten more about acting than we’ll ever learn, between the two of them.
They all love Emily VanCamp, who happens to be Canadian, very nice and apparently can’t say ‘sorry’.
(Alright I get that, but go around it by letting her say “Justin, I apologize…” that might help, if Rebecca can’t say ‘sorry’.)
The scene where Scotty puts in the car-seat for the baby. When Scotty asks: The child rides backwards?” they all laugh and Matthew ‘introduces’ Luke Macfarlane.
Rob: He’s such a great guy. Isn’t he?
Matthew: He is…
Monica: Also Canadian
Matthew: And very nice … Can’t say ‘about’.
Then Rob makes a compliment at Balthazar’s address and Monica hums along, but Matthew remains remarkably quiet. Immediately making up for it by focusing the attention on Rachel Griffiths of who Rob says that she’s incapable of playing a false moment.
Monica and Rob discuss the way the births of their children went.
Rob: Everybody thinks it’s gonna be all fairy tales and focal points and inevitably it’s gonna be “Get me the drugs!”
Now according to the subtitles Matthew says: It’s like a damn set. But I swear I can hear him say: It’s like a day on set.
Kevin Walker: Robert, I’m a gay democrate….
Matthew: Am I? (Yes, sweetie, thank you for voicing the same question that your fans have at the moment.) (Monica remains remarkably quiet)
Rob: The only show that uses cell phones more than we do must be ‘24’.
Matthew: And they use them as detonators, where we just wish we could.
About the heart-attack scene:
Funny to hear Rob explain that there was a talk about how much Robert should sweat as the scene was shot over 3-4 days in different locations, but it still had to look as if it built itself naturally. And Matthew says that all Robert’s breathlessness is real because Rob had an exercise bike and skipping rope, which he used constantly between takes…
And on to part 2.
Audio-commentary Part 2: Matthew Rhys, Rob Lowe and Monica Owusu-Breen
It starts with a re-introduction of who’s talking and a bit of talking about the shot of Robert coming into the hospital and how he wants to get up and get out, and how disconcerting the scenes are and how hard it is to act the shocks they give Robert to bring him back. About how great Calista is acting. I have to say that looking at those scenes with the eyes of the actors can certainly help you to see it differently.
Back with Holly and Julia and Rob, Matthew and Monica have been making some fun comparing it to fatal attraction and coming back to the boiled rabbit. So when Julia says how happy she is with the Crawford deal and that Tommy says yes to anything, there’s a straight-faced “Really?” from Holly.
Matthew: “Do you have a pet?”
Monica: “You have a child don’t you?”
Then Holly offers to baby-sit.
Rob: Nooooo. Don’t do it. She’s not a real babysitter.
There are several silences as they watch the episode themselves. Obviously Rob Lowe has really seen this episode very well, because he’s very aware of what scene is coming, what works, what his favorite moments are..
And then he starts to talk about his favorite moment. Kevin/Scotty in the hospital:
Rob: Maybe my own favorite scene in this episode here. I just adore it. I think you’re fantastic in it, Mr Rhys.
Matthew: Thank you, Mr Lowe.
Rob: If I do say so myself.
As Kevin start to cry Matthew steps in:
Matthew: The writing in this is great, because you’re not just crying because he’s saying “Oh he almost had a heart attack”… It comes from a place of conflict. He’s sort of confused. It makes our job easier when it’s so enriched. (Yeah, whatever. Still not convinced.)
Matthew: Luke is so good in this. ,,,, Everyone thinks that what Luke is doing is easy. But it’s not, because he has to pitch it.
Rob: He has to NOT try to meet you where you are. And for an actor, when you see somebody doing what you’re doing, which is extraordinary, you think: “Well, I better really try to knock it out of the park myself.” It takes a tremendous amount of discipline not to take that bait.
When Kitty comes in to announce that Robert made it.
Matthew: Poor, poor Flocky had to do this so many times.
Rob: Yeah, she was like the waterworks central in this.
Matthew: … and break down on a particular line, hitting a particular mark...
Rob: ...And she did it man, she brought it.
About the scene where Kitty sees Robert first after the operation.
Rob: We did a bunch of versions of this. We did ones where I’m awake, ones where I’m asleep, ones where…”
Matthew: You’re dancing.
About the Robert seeing Evan the first time
Rob: I’m sort of a hard case. I’m like “the babies, whatever” and then they put the baby in my hand and I was like (makes crying noise)
Rob: I love working with them (the babies)
Monica: Now we’ll give you a puppy too.
Interesting aspect of the Kevin/Robert scene where Robert wants Kevin to call it a minor incident:
Monica: I think that there’s a sense always that when someone has a life-threatening moment, that they’ll change. But people don’t always change who they are.
Rob: I think you can go two ways. You stop and smell the roses or you put your pedal to the metal…. And he’s putting the pedal to the metal…
Robert McCallister: … because I’m coming back
Rob: Not sure if he believes that because that’s… he doesn’t know any other way to be…
Matthew: It’s great. That look away when you say “Nothing changes.” Because you’re not convincing me (= Kevin)
Rob: I’m not convincing myself either.
Then the scene with Nora and Kitty and Kitty’s changing the diaper and taking that …. Ahm, Matthew ask her please...
Matthew: What’s it called again?
Monica: Pee-pee teepee
Rob: Pee… You’ve got to be joking.
Matthew: Dear Lord.
Rob: How did I ever do it without that?
Matthew: You wore a raincoat.
Matthew: Yes, I mean, Luke (Grimes) is a great actor… (JOKING!!) It’s just a shame he’s so ugly. That is what will hold him back in his career.
And that about concludes the second part of the commentary for 'Troubled waters". They were clearly more quiet during the second part and I just LOVE how both Matthew and Rob were so sincere in their compliments towards their co-stars. They both seem to really be impressed with them.
Audio-commentary: Ken Olin, Alison Schapker and Monica Owusu-Breen for “Mexico”
As it was hard to keep the two women apart I have resolved it by writing "One of the women" I would have loved to give credit to the right person, but alas, I found it too hard to tell the difference.
I've devided that commentary in four different segments:
About the actors:
Ken: Sally was so great, because if you give anything play-acting, she completely goes with it. She was like: I’m gonna wear a hat and I want you to do this shot, where I come in and I’ll just tilt it up.
Ken (About Rob & Calista): They are so much fun to work with, because both of them are so dexterous verbally….
One of the women: and Matthew as well.
Ken (joking!): Yes, Matthew too, but Matthew has this drinking thing, which slows him down some mornings.. )
Ken raves on about Rachel’s ability to hide her pregnancy by the use of briefcases, plants etc. And that she’s so smart as an actor and so willing to go wherever…. She doesn’t protect herself at all..
About Matthew and Luke:
Ken: They are so great together, you actually really believe that they’re…
One of the women: They had a history:
Ken: … that they’re married. They’re wonderful.
Ken: Patti and Emily have an incredible working relationship.
Oh and he thinks his wife looks stunning.. Is anyone surprised?
Ken: Dave has been so incredible, in terms of not only being comedic, but his emotional work is just fantastic.
One of the women: Balthazar is a great member of the ensemble and we missed him. Him just leaving wasn’t closure enough….
Something that bugged me got explained:
(About the pushing that Nora, Kitty and Sarah do to get Tommy to come home.) Ken Olin explained that it was all about co-dependency. And that it is supposed to be uncomfortable to watch because all three of the women are so needy. It’s all about them. (how they feel and what they want and not about Tommy and what is good for him.)
Ken: At one point they were all climbing in the back (of the truck) and Sally took off and almost killed Matthew Rhys. And she was just like: “Well, maybe you should have gotten on faster.”
About their future plans. (CAREFUL THERE MAY BE ***SPOILERS*** FOR SEASON 4)
Are you sure you want to move on ... SPOILERS ... you know....
Alright at your own risk then, don't complain to me. You've been given fair warning!
About their future plans:
Things will be different between Sarah and Holly than what it used to be in the previous seasons, where Sarah was all about Ojai being a family-business and Holly more about it just being a business.. (Whatever that means)
Ken: We’re very subtly trying to set up and pay off some of the history that we’ve established for Emily’s character. For Rebecca. We wanted to do it in a way that was really responsible and authentic. And we begin to set up things that are gonna answer some of the things that were brought up. Like “You don’t want my daughter living at your house”
One of the women: And the history she brings.
Saul gets the comment that, Saul was the guy who William used to accomplish things and that it’s interesting to start seeing him back in that position again… But for Sarah this time. (For a moment I wondered if they were talking about 3.24 specifically, but I didn't get the impression that it would not remain with Sarah asking Saul to let Ryan sign those docs... but I'll be the first to agree. I WANT Saul to get a story-line.)
About the Holly/Saul moment when Saul wants his job at Ojai back: And I’m not sure if it is a spoiler as they also talk about the immediate scene, but whatever issues were created by William they will bring them into the present and with characters that are present.
One of the women: We dealt with William’s foibles, but what we never really hit was how Saul was complicit in all of it. Like, Saul was (William’s) assistant. Saul was his enabler in a way. Out of desire to protect his sister, but you can’t necessarily escape that easily and here (the Holly/Saul-scene) his past is coming back when we thought it was about William.
One of the women:…. And we fully intend that Tommy is still a member of the family and will continue to play a role with the family, but that his character had reached a certain point in his journey where he had to have a crises …
One of the women: And Ryan is having a tough time integrating, as I think is appropriate…. It’s going to set him in a position (for season 4) that’s .. we’re gonna see movement and a different layer to his story. And bring it into the present in a complicated way.
And then we get the advice from Alison and Monica to “keep … tuned” and “stay watching”. Giggles.
Alright, the last commentary is somewhat drier, but also entertaining. They just agree with each other a lot.